Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

29 January 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

February 2018

Friday 2 February Clwyd Railway Circle John Sloane 'From Vulcan Foundry to the Khyber' British built steam at work in Pakistan, It includes pictures taken on the spectacular line up the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border.

Tuesday 6 February  North Wales Railway Circle Barry Wynn, assisted by Steve Morris, presents more of his work.  A superb collection of photographs depicting British Railway practice going back to steam days.           

Wednesday 7  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Doug Birmingham – “Rail Reflections in Merseyside”

Thursday 8 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Ellis Morey: The Penrhyn Railway

Friday 9 February  Shropshire Railway Society Preserved Steam on Video (PSOV), Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards

Friday 9 February Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Over the Water - Isle of Man and Ireland in the 60s: a colour slide presentation by Bill Chapman.

Monday 19  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     CHESTER    Ian Pilkington – “Steam and Diesel in the Northern Fells”

Friday 23 February Shropshire Railway Society Andrew Charman: Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

March 2018

Friday 2 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.

Tuesday 6 March  North Wales Railway Circle North to South. North Wales Railway Circle member Ken Owen returns with a pictorial journey north to south over the British Rail network.

Thursday 8 March     Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  John Cashen RCTS:  North West & North Wales Reminiscences in the 1960s   

Friday 9 March  Shropshire Railway Society George Jones: Onward to illustrated review of the Llangollen Railway's extension to Corwen

Monday 19  March   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Peter Berry – “The Robert Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958”  Because of renovations the Society will not be able to hold the meeting at The Town Crier, Station Road, Chester and the meeting will now take place nearby at The Queen Hotel, Station Road, Chester (opposite  the station).

Friday 9 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Trains of Thought. Includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the US and the UK. a digital presentation by Bob Avery

Friday 23 March  Shropshire Railway Society Chris Banks, Too be announced

April 2018

Tuesday 3 April  North Wales Railway Circle Tony Griffith returns with two presentations.  The Dyserth Branch and an historic shipping disaster off the North Wales Coast.  
Wednesday 4 April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Alan Moore – “The Railways of St. Helens”

Friday 6 April Clwyd Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe, Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and Speke

Thursday 12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening  

Friday 13 April  Shropshire Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and Railways

Friday 13 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Navigation Road and All That.The show includes scenes at Navigation Road, Ashley, Cinderland Crossing, Dunham Massey and other locations in the Altrincham area. Ted Buckley shows pictures (mainly of steam) taken by his late father Bill in the 1960s.

13-15 April Llangollen Railway End of Steam gala 3802 expected back in traffic otherwise further attractions yet to be announced.

Saturday 14 April Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000. Special introductory fares from £45.

Monday 16 April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Brian Armand – “Railway Roundabout”      

Thursday 26 April Brian Yates: Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) The Tramways of Berlin, Potsdam, Lyon and Grenoble.

Friday 27 April  Shropshire Railway Society AGM, followed by Member's talk

Saturday 28 April Steam on the Coast UK Railtours  Ynys Mon Express. Leicester - Holyhead  60163 Tornado  Derby - Holyhead - Derby.

May 2018

Tuesday 8 May  North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition  

Thursday 10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan

June 2018

Saturday 2 June Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

2-3 June  Llangollen Railway Heritage railcar gala

30 June Llangollen Railway Classic transport

July 2018

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. 45690

Tuesday 24 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog. 45699 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau and return

August 2018

Saturday 4 August. Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains.  Bangor (07.00/22.15) Llandudno Jct (07.25/21.55) Colwyn Bay (07.35/21.45) Rhyl (07.50/21.30) Prestatyn (08.00/21.20) Flint (08.10/21.10) Chester (08.30/20.50) Crewe (09.30/20.00) Stafford to Stratford-on Avon. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

September 2018

Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester - Peterborough

29 September Llangollen Railway Diesel gala

October 2018

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Friday 19 October Steam on the Coast Golden Eagle Luxury Tour (Day 5 of 12) (Provisional)  Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog 46100: Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead - Crewe

Winter sunshine at Rhyl picks out 43 013 heading the Track Recording Train on 25 January. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Extra items added on 30 January

Tim Rogers' view (1)

On 24 January 221 114 and 221 103 Christopher Columbus on 1A48 13:58 Holyhead to London Euston pass Holywell Junction.

Colas Rail Matisa B41 UE Tamper DR75407 rests in the Holywell Junction siding as 175 110 passes with 1H90 14:40 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly. Signalbox, semaphore signals and sidings here will be abolished on 26 March.

68 002 Intrepid and 68 016 Fearless with FNA wagon 11 70 9229 015-6 with 6K41 14:58 Valley to Crewe flask pass Holywell Junction 48 minutes early.

Cambrian Heritage Railways news

Good news from the heritage sector is that the Cambrian Heritage Railways have been awarded a £120,000 grant by Oswestry Town Council. The fund will help extend the line from Oswestry to Weston Wharf, which its thought will attract some 20,000 visitors and bring at least £1.28 million to the town’s economy every year.

The money comes from a four-million pound 'windfall' from the developers of the Smithfield Cattle Market project, which has created a space intended for a retail and cinema complex on part of the site. So far, however, this has not been built.

The railway already provides trips from the station in Oswald Road to the Gasworks bridge, however the extension will complete the 1.75 mile route as well as the creation of a visitor centre at Weston with a connection to the adjacent Stonehouse Brewery. The project has only been made possible after Shropshire Council invested in work to make the Gasworks Bridge passable by lowering the track.

Further expansion in the future will be to link the line at Weston with the small section already running trains at Llynclys, while a separate project aims to create a community transport link in the opposite direction between Oswestry Railway Station and the main line at Gobowen Railway Station, including a halt at the Orthopaedic Hospital.

Manchester evening

Greg Mape visited Manchester Victoria on the evening of Saturday 27 January, hoping to see a steam loco bring in the return 'Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express.' What turned up - 26 minutes late - was a pair of class 47 diesels, 47 245 and 47 804. 45699 Galatea had been removed at Hellifield to return to Carnforth. Was this a planned move? It seems common these days for diesels to take over the return workings of steam specials.

The Metrolink part of the station looks impressive in the evening (Greg Mape). Here are some Metrolink route changes which apply from 28 January:

Airport line services will run to Victoria, using the centre platform there.
Sunday services are extended by approximately an hour into the evening.
Both platforms at Altrincham will be used routinely, with the through service to Bury starting from Platform 2 and the Piccadilly service from Platform 1.
The Etihad Campus service will run from MediaCityUK instead of Altrincham.

Tim Rogers' view (2)

Rhyl on 25 January. 158 823 is working 1D13 11:10 Birmingham International to Holyhead. A new signal is covered with white X's waiting for the big changeover in March.

67 015 propels 1H89 13:07 Holyhead to Manchester Piccadilly, formed of Mk3b, DVT 82308, Mk3, TSO 12185, Mk3, TSO 12182, Mk3, TSO 12184, Mk3, TSO 12183.

Cross-Country HST reaches Manchester - report by Jack Bowley

On Wednesday 24 January a Cross-Country HST, never normally seen in the Manchester area. The story behind it is that there was a total loss of signalling in and around Bristol, so 1M29 0702 Paignton to Manchester Piccadilly was heavily delayed. As a result, Control turned one of their HST sets at Cheltenham Spa and put it in the path of 1M29, albeit as a new headcode of 1Z29. This certainly got the interest of the 'cranks' and word got around quickly that a HST was on its way to Piccadilly.

I boarded it at Stockport (above) with 43 301 leading for Manchester. Due to the nature of the CrossCountry diagramming, the inbound from the West Country normally returns to Bournemouth, but this wasn't desired by Control and so was stepped back a diagram to work 1V57 to Bristol Temple Meads. The HST worked as far as Birmingham where a 220 continued the service southbound.

43 301 'on the blocks' at Piccadilly with 390 148 alongside.

43 321 ready for departure at Piccadilly.

More Cambrian 1982 snow - recollections by Chris Scott

Continuing  the story of the 1982 snow, I thought readers might be interested in these photos I took in 1982. I was the village bobby at Llwyngwril at the time, and was on duty when the snow started falling. The  road between Llwyngwril and Tywyn was blocked as were other roads into Tywyn, and we had to open it as supplies were needed for Tywyn hospital.

The photo of the JCB (above) is just above the railway line at Prysgau. You can judge the depth of the snow which is remarkable when you think how near the sea we are at this point. Just below us I think the Class 25 had already derailed in the snow.

I went back later to photograph the recovery operation. Later the same day I had to go to Fairbourne and to get there the only way to go was along the railway line, through the avalanche shelter, on foot.

Looking back: the end of Wrexham and Shropshire - with Peter Neve

The last Wrexham & Shropshire service train departed London Marylebone Station for Wrexham General at 18:30 on Friday 28 January 2011. On Saturday 29 January the rolling stock was removed from Wrexham by 67 013 Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte leading  and 67 012 A Shropshire Lad at the rear. I took these photographs at the time of departure (at about midday). I believe this was the last time the rolling stock appeared at Wrexham General.  Above:The train is assembled on platform 3 at Wrexham General waiting for the 'off'.

67 012 at the rear of the train.

67 013 hauls the last of the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway rolling stock out of Wrexham General station.

Michael Williams, author of the book On The Slow Train: Twelve Great British Railway Journeys, wrote at the time: 'The elegant offering of the W&S was a world away from the overcrowding, rude staff, dirty toilets, cramped seats, microwaved burgers, plastic cups and lack of information that too often defines the modern railway ... The announcement of its demise came on the same day that W&S topped the National Passenger Survey with a 96 per cent approval rating.'


The longest passenger train in the UK: 92 018 at Crewe on 26 January on the 16-coach Caledonian Sleeper from London with portions for Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness.  Picture by Eurwyn McMahon.

On 29 January at Crewe, 390 011 on a test run shows off Virgin's new livery of white, which matches that of the new trains on the East Coast and appears to be a Department for Transport requirement to simplify possible transfer to another operator at the end of the franchise. The nameplates are being replaced by vinyl stickers - will be see the plates in a charity auction soon? Picture by Martin Evans.

Engineering work in progress at Hale station, Mid-Cheshire line, Sunday 28 January (Greg Mape).

46521 at Quorn, Great Central Railway, 28 January (Peter Dickinson).

North Wales Coast home pageArchive | Previous Notice Board